International Day of Education
Ranjan K Baruah
(With direct inputs from UN/WHO publication and feedback may be sent to email@example.com)
The only way to bring about social change and transformation is through education. Education means not only going to schools or colleges but also spreading knowledge and enhancing learning. Education is a fundamental right and one of the human rights around the world. The right to education is enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries shall make higher education accessible to all.
There is no shadow of doubt that education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. But about 244 million children and adolescents around the world are out of school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school; and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school. Their right to education is being violated, and it is unacceptable.
We should know that learning for peace must be a transformative process, enabling learners to gain essential knowledge, values, attitudes, skills, and behaviours, thereby empowering them to serve as catalysts for peace in their communities. The foundation of more peaceful, just, and sustainable societies is laid through education, a force that permeates every facet of our daily lives and overall prospects.
Education emerges as a powerful tool to both address and prevent social challenges in the future. Moreover, when effectively shaped and implemented, education becomes a long-term investment with increasing returns. Education is central and key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In short, education is a human right, a public good, and a public responsibility.
During the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, the international community recognized that education is essential for the success of all 17 of its goals. SDG 4, in particular, aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030.
On December 3, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted with consensus a resolution proclaiming January 24 as the International Day of Education in celebration of the role of education in peace and development. The adoption of Resolution 73/25, “International Day of Education,” co-authored by Nigeria and 58 other Member States, demonstrated the unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all. UNESCO, as the specialised United Nations agency for education, facilitates the annual observance of the Day in close collaboration with the main education actors. Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth, and adults behind.
Our world is at a unique juncture in history, characterised by increasingly uncertain and complex trajectories shifting at an unprecedented speed. These sociological, ecological, and technological trends are changing education systems, which need to adapt. Yet education has the most transformational potential to shape just and sustainable futures. UNESCO generates ideas, initiates public debate, and inspires research and action to renew education. This work aims to build a new social contract for education, grounded on principles of human rights, social justice, human dignity, and cultural diversity.
It’s time to reimagine how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet. There are different initiatives from the government sector, civil society, and even corporations to enhance education in the country. Talking about quality education means we have to talk more about challenges faced by the students of government schools or challenges faced by the school authority.
To enhance quality education in the Bodoland Territorial Region’s (BTR), the Education Department has taken up different flagship programmes. The Bodoland School Adoption Programme is one of the programmes where government schools are being adopted by different adopter. The programme aims to engage individuals and civil society so that the quality of education in the BTR can be enhanced. The BTR government has also launched other programmes like ‘Bodofa UN Brahma Super 50 Mission’ to support students and prepare them to become civil servants, doctors, and engineers.
To achieve global goals and make our future sustainable, ensuring education for all is a must. Each and every one of us must contribute towards transformation through education so that we can build a bright future for all of us. Let us take up the challenge and contribute towards a vibrant future through education.